Police found an “amateurish” but potentially powerful bomb in a smoking sport utility vehicle in Times Square, then cleared the streets of thousands of tourists milling through the landmark district so they could dismantle it, authorities said Sunday.
“We avoided what we could have been a very deadly event,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “It certainly could have exploded and had a pretty big fire and a decent amount of explosive impact.”
Investigators removed three propane tanks, consumer-grade fireworks, two filled 5-gallon gasoline containers, and two clocks with batteries, electrical wire and other components, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said at a news conference early Sunday. A black metal box resembling a gun locker was also recovered.
“I think the intent was to cause a significant ball of fire,” Kelly said.
Bloomberg called the explosive device “amateurish” but potentially deadly, noting: “We are very lucky.”